My mom told me once that “Summer” was a top contender when she and my dad were picking out baby names for me. I’m not sure why they decided against it—Lacey and Gina didn’t make the cut either—but they did, and Danne it was. While I’ve grown fond of my name over the years (no, I did not always love it)*, I have to say that Summer would have suited me perfectly. I am a summer girl through and through.
When you grow up in New England, June, July, and August are an absolute gift (and if you want to know a secret from a native Cape Codder, September will give you some of the best beach days of the entire season). Winters in the northern states are long, they’re harsh, and just when you start to wonder, “Why the hell do I even live here?”, the first signs of spring appear, seasonal amnesia hits, and you realize that you live somewhere really ‘effing special.
At least that’s been my experience.
I appreciate all seasons for their unique characteristics, I do, but I live for this time of year, it lights me up. Case in point: I’m currently writing this from my screened-in porch that’s illuminated by strings of little white lanterns. I’m barefoot with freshly painted toenails, wearing a bright, floral sundress (my summer uniform), drinking a perfectly chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, and I can hear crickets in the background and see the tiny luminance of fireflies lighting up my backyard. I’m not trying to sound more boho than thou, but really, does it get any better than this?
For me, it doesn’t.
I honestly had no idea until recently that everyone wasn’t as smitten with summer as I am. Apparently, some of you prefer the quiet solitude of winter, the beauty of the first snowfall, and the return of sweaters and ski lifts. Some find your sweet spot in the spirit of rebirth that’s synonymous with spring, in the early signs of rising temperatures and longer daylight hours. And fall? Most of you really seem to love fall. But while foliage drives and apple pies are certainly lovely, how could you love a season that signifies the death of the most glorious of them all? How could you possibly be pleased that beach days and backyard BBQs are over and that the short-lived glory of football games and pumpkin spice will soon give way to winter's wrath?
To each his own though, I suppose. To each his own.
But summer, sweet summer, although not everyone loves you like you deserve to be loved, know that I will always welcome you back with open arms. You truly are the light of my life.
So, cheers to sun-kissed shoulders, summer ale, and sunshine. I hope that even you fall-loving folks can find the beauty in this magical season that’s upon us.
p.s. If this set of vintage beach photos from Travel + Leisure doesn't get you in the summer spirit, I don't know what will...
*There was a period of my childhood where I resented my mom for giving me a unique name—mainly because when we went to a store I could never find anything with my name on it (to her credit, she bought me many custom monogrammed items to make up for it). Danne ended up growing on me, though, especially when I hit high school and realized that being a girl with a boys name was kind of cool. My only lingering misgiving has been the spelling, which has caused many strangers to call me “Dane”, “Diane”, or some bizarre, nonsensical mash-up of the two. It could have been tougher, though, her original idea for spelling was “Dhani”, which is how Ringo Starr spelled his son’s name, after the 6th and 7th notes of the Indian music scale. On second thought, would that have actually been really awesome? And wait, is my mom the original hipster?*